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Business News/ News / India/  Nitin Gadkari backs electoral bond scheme, says ‘contesting elections requires money’

Nitin Gadkari backs electoral bond scheme, says ‘contesting elections requires money’

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari backs Electoral Bond Scheme, stating contesting elections necessitates money. He warns against scrapping the plan, citing potential influx of black money.

Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari (ANI)Premium
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari (ANI)

“It's a fact that contesting elections requires money", Union Minister Nitin Gadkari supported the Electoral Bond Scheme developed when the late Arun Jaitley was India's finance minister, saying scrapping this plan will attract black money. 

Gadkari, in an interview with NDTV, said the main purpose of the electoral bond scheme was that political parties would get money through it which would help push the economy to number one, pointing toward Prime Minister Narendra Modi's aim on the economic front. 

“What's wrong with this idea? Every party needs that money for contesting elections," he questioned while refusing to comment on the Supreme Court verdict on the electoral bond scheme. 

Referring to black money, Gadkari said, “People will take money as ‘number two’ if you will not allow bonds."

Here are top 10 updates on electoral bonds row, 

1) Former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel called it the “biggest scam of the year". “The BJP senses that it is losing the Lok Sabha elections and was, hence, resorting to newer tactics against the Opposition," he told media persons. 

2) “Out of 20000 crore worth Electoral Bonds, 6000 crore have been donated to the BJP while the rest went to opposition parties," BJP leader RP Singh said as quoted by ANI. 

3) Gadkari stated that the electoral bond would be purchased by wealthy people. “Those wealthy would be contractors. Or have made it big in trade or industry. So it is not right to link it to that (quid pro quo)," he told NDTV. 

4) According to the recent data released by the EC, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the Centre has received the most money through these bonds, totaling 6,986.5 crore since they were introduced in 2018. This is followed by the ruling Trinamool Congress of West Bengal ( 1,397 crore), Congress ( 1,334 crore), and Bharat Rashtra Samithi ( 1,322 crore).

Also Read | Live updates on electoral bonds row

5) With 944.5 crore, the ruling party of Odisha, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) was the fourth-largest recipient, behind the DMK at 66.5 crore, and the ruling party of Andhra Pradesh, YSR Congress, at almost 442.8 crore.

6) As per the Supreme Court's orders, the Election Commission made public a data dump that included information on 523 political parties, both recognized and unrecognized. Based on data provided by the State Bank of India (SBI), the only bank permitted to sell and redeem electoral bonds, the EC released a second dataset last week.

7) Congress leader Sachin Pilot welcomed the Supreme Court's verdict on electoral bonds and said that BJP should explain the profits they gained through it. 

8) “The BJP should clarify how much they have earned through this scam. The accounts of the Congress party are being seized but the Income Tax is not taking action against the BJP for earning thousands of crores through illegal bonds," he said. 

9) Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin described the electoral bonds as “white collar corruption" of the ruling BJP and said the opposition bloc INDIA will form a secular, federal and inclusive government at the Centre.

10) State Bank of India's second list on electoral bonds has revealed that the biggest beneficiary of the donations made by Martin's Future Gaming and Hotel Services PR is the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).


(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 18 Mar 2024, 08:37 AM IST
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